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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

State of Mind

State of Mind, Sven Michael Davison, Bedouin Press, 2011

This book is set in 2030 Los Angeles. It is about government mind control, and one man's attempts to fight back.

Jake Travissi was thrown off the police force for upsetting the wrong people. He is let back on the force after he is implanted with a P-Chip. It lets a person do practically anything with their mind; access the Web, see things through the eyes of another P-Chip recipient, record video on to a computer hard drive and talk to other P-Chip recipients telepathically. A person can even regulate their metabolism so that they can eat and drink whatever they want and not gain weight. Jake is part of a three-man squad working for Homeland Security.

Their first case is to investigate the very public murder of Dr. Veloso, a co-creator of the P-Chip. The shooter's eyes, teeth and fingerprints have been removed, making identification nearly impossible. While Jake is there, he has split-second flashes of his hands destroying the evidence. On another raid, taking out an alleged terrorist cell, Jake has more flashes of he and his colleagues doing very illegal things. He also hears voices in his head, which are the God Heads.

Sandoval, the Director of Homeland Security, who commands the three-man squad (the Enhanced Unit), also runs a super-secret squad of P-Chip hackers. It is possible to take a person "offline," to shut down their higher brain functions, controlling them to do or say whatever you want, then plant false memories to make up for it. Jake begins to push back against the God Heads, killing one of them. In retaliation, Jake is kept offline for several weeks, and controlled to resign from the Enhanced Unit. He is constantly filled with feelings of depression and suicide by the God Heads. He is also turned into something of a donut addict, becoming a fat, lazy parody of a cop. Sandoval's intention in pushing the skyrocketing popularity of P-Chips is to become one of the elite who actually rule the world, while everyone else is kept happy in some artificial P-Chip world. With help from Dr. Morris, the P-Chip's other co-creator, Jake is able to do a lot more pushing back against Sandoval and the God Heads.

This one is very plausible, it's more than a little spooky and it's really good. How long will it be before a cell phone, or Web browser, can be miniaturized enough to fit inside a human brain?

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